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Oral history interview with Becky Johnson

This oral history interview with Elizabeth Johnson was conducted by Rick Harmon and Jim Strassmaier at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from June 25, 1986, to March 31, 1993. In the interview, Johnson discusses her family background and early life in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Bellevue, Ohio, including her family's religious faith, and life under Prohibition and during the Depression. She then discusses attending Miami University, including joining a sorority, her involvement with the YWCA, and the discrimination she saw. She also discusses attending Wellesley College, then teaching English to high school students. Johnson then talks about her experience as a woman in the Navy during World War II, serving with the WAVES, particularly her time stationed in Portland and Astoria, Oregon.

Johnson then discusses, at length, the family background and early life of her husband, Oregon State Representative Sam Johnson. She discusses Sam Johnson's youth and his education in the San Francisco area and in France, as well as his struggle with hereditary gout. She talks about their marriage and settling in Redmond, Oregon, and Sam's career with his family's timber business, including a trip they took to Chile to explore timber opportunities there. She also discusses the S.S. Johnson Foundation.

Johnson goes on to talk about her involvement in Oregon politics, including her involvement with the Oregon Republican Women's organization, campaigning for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and particularly her role on the State Board of Education. She also talks about Sam Johnson's time in the Oregon House of Representatives, his relationship to the changing Republican Party, and legislation he was involved with. She also discusses his time as mayor of Redmond. Johnson closes the interview by talking about her family life.

Johnson, Becky (Elizabeth Avery Hill), 1913-2007

Oral history interview with Bill Hedlund

  • SR 1113
  • Collection
  • 1988-06-19

This oral history interview with Bill Hedlund was conducted by Richard McConnell on June 19, 1988. An unidentified woman was also present. In this interview, Hedlund discusses his experience in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1941 to 1942, and his experiences as a lobbyist. He discusses legislators and lobbyists he worked with, rules regarding lobbying activities, his involvement with the Democratic Party, and governors he served under while in the Legislature. He then looks at photographs and discusses them, his family history, and his early life in Portland. He discusses how he got interested in politics after he graduated from law school in 1935, and his jobs before running for the Legislature in 1940, including working for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Hedlund, Bill (William Hancock), 1910-1994

Oral history interview with William L. Dickson

This oral history interview with William L. Dickson was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Dickson's apartment in San Diego, California, from September 25-26, 1991. In this interview, Dickson discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including contracting polio while in high school and his early interest in politics, including his admiration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as a fellow polio survivor. He then discusses attending Northwestern Law School and many of his professors; clerking at the probate court in Portland; his family's religious faith; and getting started in a law practice in Portland. He talks about his experience as a debt collector during the Depression; his first run for the Oregon Legislature in 1930; and meeting his wife, Dorothy Adelaide Unk, in 1931.

Dickson goes on to discuss his time in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1933 to 1936, and in the Oregon Senate from 1937 to 1939, including his desire to help people burdened by debt; coordinating with his uncle, Ashby Dickson, to pass a constitutional amendment making judges nonpartisan positions; and legislation he worked on, particularly on the probate and guardianship code. He also talks about the role of lobbyists; the pay scale for legislators; and many of the legislators he served with, including Nan Wood Honeyman, Monroe Sweetland, and Frank Lonergan. He discusses his involvement with the Democratic Party; the impact of the Depression on his politics and career; and New Deal legislation.

Dickson then discusses his career after leaving the Legislature. He talks about working for the federal Department of Justice during World War II, particularly his work on cases involving land condemnation for military use, and arguing before Judge James Alger Fee. He then talks about serving as a judge on the Circuit Court of Multnomah County from 1954 to 1973. He discusses cases involving mental health and guardianship. He then talks about the lives and careers of his children. Dickson closes the interview with a discussion of national politics in the 1990s.

Dickson, William L. (William Lucas), 1907-2002

Oral history interview with Harry D. Boivin

This oral history interview with Harry Boivin was conducted by Clark Hansen in Boivin's office in Medford, Oregon, from July 25, 1991, to June 6, 1992. In this interview, Boivin discusses his family history and early life in Klamath Falls, Oregon, as well as his education at Santa Clara University in California. He then discusses getting started in his law career, including working for the district attorney in Dorris, California, and then working with Claude McColloch in Klamath Falls.

Boivin then talks about serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1935 to 1942, including serving as speaker of the House in 1937. He discusses partisan politics and coalition building; the old Capitol building and conditions after it burned down in 1937; his support of the New Deal; and his time as speaker. He discusses some of the legislators he worked with in the House, including Grace Peck. He also talks briefly about his activities after leaving the House, including trying to enlist during World War II, as well as serving on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Board of Education.

Boivin goes on to discuss serving in the Oregon Senate from 1955 to 1972, including as Senate president from 1961 to 1966. Some of the issues he discusses include reapportionment, logging and forestry, taxation, and agriculture. He also talks about campaigning, committee assignments, and the duties of the Senate president. Boivin talks often about the Oregon Institute of Technology and his role in its formation. He also discusses his working relationship with the many governors that served during his political career. He discusses his fellow senators, including Monte Montgomery, Al Ullman, Wayne Morse, and Debbs Potts.

He closes the interview by discussing the changes in the Democratic and Republican parties, and politics in general, over the second half of the 20th century.

Boivin, Harry D. (Harry Dolan), 1904-1999

Oral history interview with Debbs Potts

This oral history interview with Debbs Potts was conducted by James Strassmaier in a Super 8 Motel in Grants Pass, Oregon, and at an ExecuLodge in Salem, Oregon, from April 15, 1991, to May 28, 1991. In the interview, Potts discusses his family background and early life in Eastern Oregon, including his family's religious life, his education in one-room schools, and working various jobs as a young teenager. He also talks about the sawmill business, including owning and operating various sawmills. He then discusses his marriage to Bobbye Irene Michael, including their attempts to adopt children. Potts talks about his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, including his training and life on a ship. He also discusses his time as mayor of Grants Pass from 1958 to 1960.

Potts then discusses serving in the state Senate from 1961 to 1984. He talks about his involvement with the Democratic Party; several prominent Democrats, including Harry Boivin and Jason Boe; and his early committee assignments, particularly the Ways and Means Committee. He discusses his campaigns, legislative procedure, and interpersonal politics. He also talks about legislation that came up during his tenure, including on taxes, reapportionment, and education. He discusses working with other legislators, including Monte Montgomery, Ben Musa, Lynn Newbry, and Ed Fadeley. Potts talks about serving as president of the Senate from 1967 to 1970, including the process of getting elected to that position, having Cecil Edwards as his secretary, and the duties of the president. He also discusses working with different governors' administrations, the Senate presidency of Jason Boe, and partisan politics. Potts talks briefly about his faith and his adopted children. He closes the interview with a discussion on his activities after serving in the Legislature, including running the Oregon Lottery.

Potts, Debbs (Eugene Debbs), 1908-2003

Oral history interview with Connie McCready

This oral history interview with Connie McCready was conducted by Clark Hansen at McCready's home in Portland, Oregon, from March 21 to July 5, 1994. In this interview, McCready discusses her family background and early life in Portland. She also discusses her early career in journalism working for the Coos Bay Times and the Oregonian; and starting a family with her husband, Oregonian reporter Albert L. McCready. She discusses her involvement with the Republican Party, campaigning, her liberal politics, and her experience as a woman in the Oregon Legislature during the 1967 and 1969 sessions. McCready also discusses legislation she worked on, including taxes, fair employment, public transportation and TriMet, and her work on behalf of sternwheelers. McCready talks about some of the legislators she worked with, including Tom Mahoney, Bob Packwood, Stafford Hansell, and Jason Boe. She then discusses her time in the Portland City Council from 1970 to 1979, including the Mount Hood Freeway vote; the bureaus she ran, including fire, cable, and public works; her support for gay rights; and receiving death threats. She discusses the city commissioners and mayors she worked with, including Frank Ivancie, Neil Goldschmidt, Terry Schrunk, and Mildred Schwab. She also discusses her campaign against John Lorenz in 1976, and Portland's sister-city relationship with Sapporo, Japan.

McCready, Connie (Constance), 1921-2000

Oral history interview with Barbara Hanneman

This oral history interview with Barabara Hanneman was conducted by Vinita Howard at Hanneman's home in Turner, Oregon, from March 26 to April 1, 1991. In the interview, Hanneman discusses her family history and early life, including meeting her husband, Gene Hanneman, his career as a forester, and moving to Salem, Oregon. She also discusses the lives of her three children, as well as her grandchildren. She then talks about working in the offices of the Oregon Legislature, starting with the Board of Control before her children were born, then returning to work as a desk clerk for the Legislature in 1955. She describes working for Maurine Neuberger, Bob Holmes, Bob Duncan, Al Ullman, Bob Straub, and others. Hanneman discusses clerking for various committees, campaigning, and legislative procedures. She also talks briefly about other clerks at the Legislature, including Cecil Edwards. Hanneman then discusses working for the Neil Goldschmidt administration. She closes the interview by discussing changes in state government during her career.

Hanneman, Barbara Lewis, 1922-2017

Oral history interview with Cecil L. Edwards

This oral history interview with Cecil Edwards was conducted by Irvin Luiten from May 18 to 26, 1988. In the interview, Edwards discusses his family history and early life in Salem, Oregon, including his education and early interest in government. He then talks about his experiences working for the Oregon Legislature beginning in 1933. He discusses the old Capitol building, which burned down in 1935; campaigns he worked on, and the role of lobbyists. He also talks about working as secretary for Governor Charles Sprague. Edwards then describes his service in the National Guard during World War II, particularly working with horses and dogs. He talks about returning to work in Oregon government after the war ended, including serving on the Racing Commission; being fired by Governor Mark Hatfield; lobbying for the Oregon Cattlemen's Association; and returning to the Legislature to work as a secretary. He discusses the numerous committees he was secretary for, including the agriculture committee, fish and game committee, and land-use board. Edwards next discusses his tenure as secretary of the Senate from 1965 to 1975, focusing on many of the legislators he worked with, including Clarence Barton, Debbs Potts, and Jason Boe. He also speaks at length about redistricting, as well as the duties of the secretary of the Senate and Senate rules.

Edwards, Cecil L.

Interview with Thomas H. Mercer

  • SR 3974
  • Collection
  • 1976

This interview with Thomas Mercer was conducted circa 1976. In the interview, Mercer, who was running against Al Ullman, discusses his current campaign for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives. He also discusses his heart issues and how they have affected his career; gun control; and health care. In addition to the interview, there is a recording of a question-and-answer session with Mercer and voters during his campaign. In the session, Mercer addresses questions regarding abortion and taxation.

Also on the audiocassettes with the Mercer interview is a speech delivered by an unidentified man circa 1977, regarding his experience in the Oregon Legislature, and a discussion held in Salem, Oregon, also circa 1977. The speakers in the discussion include Robert Marx, Anthony Meeker, Margaret Dereli, Mae Yih, Bill Rutherford, Wally Carson, Ken Jernstedt, Tony Van Vliet, and other unidentified legislators. Topics include municipal-, county-, and state-level taxation; revenue sharing; correctional institutions; SB 100 and land use planning; and energy conservation. It is unknown what, if any, relationship these recordings have to the Mercer interview.

Mercer, Thomas H.

Oral history interview with Wayne Morse

  • SR 779
  • Collection
  • 1967

This interview with Wayne Morse was conducted by William Plymat for the World Peace Broadcasting Foundation in November 1967. The interview was originally distributed on a disposable plastic 33.3 rpm disc as a thank-you for a donation to the World Peace Broadcasting Foundation of "a dollar or more." In the interview, Morse discusses his opposition to the war in Vietnam.

Morse, Wayne L. (Wayne Lyman), 1900-1974

Oral history interview with Charles E. Wright

  • SR611
  • Collection
  • 1991-07-03

This oral history interview with Charles E. Wright was conducted by Elizabeth Buehler on July 12, 1991. In the interview, Wright discusses his education at Yale Law School, particularly studying corporate law with Professor William O. Douglas, who was later a U.S. Supreme Court justice. He briefly discusses returning to Oregon in 1932 and working as a lawyer in Portland; working for the regional office of the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission in Seattle, Washington; and returning to private practice in Portland. He then returns to the topic of William O. Douglas.

Wright, Charles E. (Charles Edward Pares), 1906-1999

Oral history interview with Tom McCall

  • SR 298
  • Collection
  • 1973-03-12

This oral history interview with Oregon Governor Tom McCall was conducted by Steve Lorton on March 12, 1973, and was one of a number of interviews with governors of Western states on the occasion of Sunset Magazine's 75th anniversary. McCall describes his experiences in government and politics, along with challenges including growth and conservation in Oregon. He mentions members of the Oregon Legislature, including Bob Packwood, Keith Miller, Daniel Evans, Cecil Andrus, and Richard Neuberger. He also discusses legislation that was forthcoming at the time of the interview, including the Oregon Bottle Bill. He closes the interview by discussing his plans for Oregon's future.

McCall, Tom, 1913-1983

Oral history interview with Charles A. Sprague

  • SR 155
  • Collection
  • 1962-07-18

This interview with Charles A. Sprague was conducted by Robert Bruce of the Capitol News Bureau in Sprague's office at the Oregon Statesman in Salem on July 18, 1962. It was broadcast on the radio as part of the Living History Series. In the interview, Sprague briefly discusses his family history and early life in the Midwest. He then talks about his career in journalism and ownership of the Corvallis Gazette-Times and the Statesman, as well as big news stories during that time, including the labor movement. Sprague also discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and his term as governor of Oregon during World War II. He also talks about landmark legislation that was passed during his term, particularly the establishment of the state forest system, as well as his thoughts on amending the Oregon Constitution. He closes the interview with a discussion about contemporary American culture.

Sprague, Charles A. (Charles Arthur), 1887-1969

Oral history interview with Frank A. Bauman

This interview with Frank Anthony Bauman was conducted by Karen E. Saul at Bauman's office at the Carriage House and in the Standard Plaza Building in Portland, Oregon, from November 5, 2005, to May 15, 2007. In the interview, while looking at family photographs, Bauman discusses his early life and childhood in Northeast Portland, including attending Grant High School and delivering newspapers. He then discusses attending Stanford University, including studying economics and his recollections of the lead-up to World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Bauman also talks about his experiences in the Navy during World War II, including learning Japanese; deployment to the South Pacific, particularly Peleliu; treatment and interrogation of Japanese prisoners of war; and visiting Hiroshima after the war. He goes on to describe studying at Yale Law School and establishing himself as a lawyer in Portland. He also discusses his wife, Mildred Bauman, and her involvement in the Great Books Program; studying international law at the University of London in England; and working at various law firms in Portland, including Veatch, Bauman & Lovett, and Keane, Haessler, Bauman & Harper. He goes on to talk about cases he argued before the Oregon Supreme Court and District Court, including Zucker v. Mitchell and Ritchie v. Lamb. Bauman also discusses volunteering as a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi; his involvement with the World Affairs Council; and his involvement with the United Nations, particularly focusing on UNICEF, General Paul Cullen, and his service as U.N. senior officer to Australasia.

Bauman, Frank A. (Frank Anthony), 1921-

Oral history interview with Donal D. Sullivan

This oral history interview with Donal D. Sullivan was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Sullivan's chambers at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland, Oregon, on July 6, 2006. In the interview, Sullivan discusses his early career as a lawyer in Salem, and as assistant district attorney with Sid Lezak in the Multnomah County district attorney's office in Portland, then as a clerk for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He describes working with judges Gus Solomon and William East. Sullivan also talks about serving as a bankruptcy judge. He closes the interview by talking about his personal life and family.

Sullivan, Donal D. (Donal Dennis), 1931-2009

Oral history interview with Russell Peyton

  • SR 473
  • Collection
  • 1987-07-28 - 1987-08-12

This interview with Russell Peyton was conducted by Dan Malone at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from July 28 to August 12, 1987. In the interview, Peyton discusses his family history and early life in Virginia. He also discusses his early jobs, including working as an assistant to a Chinese diplomat. He then talks about going to California and working in service stations, where he got involved in a lawsuit against the Shell Oil company. Peyton then discusses attending the University of Oklahoma and confronting his own racism. In talking about the lead-up to World War II, he discusses coming to Oregon and working for the Kaiser shipyards and his impressions of Portland. He then talks about a trip he took to Europe shortly after the end of the war. Peyton discusses his involvement with the Urban League and his work toward integration, particularly on housing discrimination. He also discusses the different forms that racism took in the North and South. He then talks about his work as an investigator for the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon State Bureau of Labor, detailing many of his cases. Peyton discusses his work with the Joint Council on Social Welfare and the legislation they lobbied for. He also discusses the achievements of the Oregon Prison Association; working with Portland General Electric to cease cutting off power to people who couldn't pay their bills in winter; and school busing. Peyton discusses his time as executive director of the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission, including affirmative action policies, working to improve the Portland police, food security, pay equality, and employment discrimination. He also discusses working with the Portland City Council and the Metro government. In addition, he talks briefly about Vietnam War protests in Portland. Peyton talks often about Edwin "Bill" C. Berry of the Urban League, as well as other leaders in Portland's black community. He then briefly describes each winner of the Russell Peyton Award from its inception to 1987. Peyton also talks about the numerous humanitarian organizations whose boards he served on after retirement. He closes the interview by reflecting on his career and accomplishments in civil rights.

Peyton, Russell A. (Russell Ackerman), 1903-1996

Oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland

This oral history interview with Monroe Mark Sweetland was conducted by Richard Harmon from November 16, 1984, to October 26, 1987, at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. In this interview, Sweetland discusses his family background and early life, including his childhood in rural Michigan; his early involvement in Democratic politics; and his experiences at Wittenberg University and Cornell University. He discusses his political activism during college, including his involvement with the Student League for Industrial Democracy and his political activism on behalf of Socialist candidates. Sweetland also discusses his political activities after his return to Oregon in 1935, including his work with the Oregon Commonwealth Federation and his decision to leave the Socialist Party and join the Democratic Party. Also discussed is his work with labor unions; the New Deal programs; and his work with the Oregon Democratic Party. He briefly talks about World War II and its effect on Oregon politics, particularly the effect the Hitler-Stalin pact had on American communists and the Oregon Commonwealth Federation; internment of Japanese-Americans; and his own pacifism. Sweetland goes on to talk about his involvement with the Democratic Party of Oregon after the war as national committeeman; the factions within the party; and mobilizing women and black voters. He also discusses his ownership of several Oregon newspapers (the Molalla Pioneer, the Newport News, and the Milwaukie Review) and about running them with the help of his wife, Lillie Sweetland. In addition, he describes his experiences as a legislator in the Oregon House of Representatives and Senate during the 1950s and early 1960s. Topics include: education; attempts to pass a sales tax; campaign finance; and Wayne Morse's switch to the Democratic Party. He also discusses working closely with Howard Morgan, the national chairman of the Democratic Party; U.S. Senator Dick Neuberger; and U.S. Representative Edith Green. Sweetland talks about his relationship with Mark Hatfield and running for secretary of state against him in 1956; the 1962 presidential election and his support of John F. Kennedy; and his campaign for secretary of state in 1964. Finally, he discusses his activities after leaving the Legislature, including his interest in Indonesia and continued advocacy for education as a lobbyist for the National Education Association.

Sweetland, Monroe, 1910-2006

Oral history interview with Alfred T. Goodwin

This interview with Alfred Goodwin was conducted by Michael O'Rourke at Goodwin's home in Sisters, Oregon, on August 26, 2006. In the interview, Goodwin discusses some of the topics that often come before the U.S. District Court, including immigration, fishing rights, and environmental law. He also discusses national legislation regarding terrorism; proposals to split the Ninth Circuit; technology in the court; and the War on Drugs. He closes the interview by talking about his personal life and family background.

Goodwin, Alfred T. (Alfred Theodore), 1923-

United States District Court Oral History Project

  • USDCHS
  • Collection
  • 1966-2008 (bulk 1984-2008)

Since 1984, the Oregon Historical Society has partnered with the United States District Court of Oregon Historical Society to interview judges, lawyers and other legal professionals affiliated with that Court.
With an appeal rate at around 10%, the decisions made by the District Court of Oregon have been deeply influential on the laws and peoples of the state. It has presided over decisions on public land disputes and fishing rights, as well as civil rights and law enforcement. The stories of the people that make up this judicial body provide a valuable tool for helping the public understand the pivotal role the court has had on Oregon’s history.

Oral history interview with Norma Paulus

  • SR 3972
  • Collection
  • 1999-02-10 - 2000-11-02

This oral history interview with Norma Paulus was conducted by Clark Hansen at Paulus's home in Salem, Oregon, in Lincoln City, Oregon, and in Portland, Oregon; and at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from February 10, 1999, to November 2, 2000, and from February 10 to 27, 2010. In the interview, Paulus discusses her family background and early life in Burns, Oregon, including life during World War II and contracting polio at the age of 19. She also discusses working as a secretary for the Harney County district attorney, Leland Beckham; moving to Salem to work for a law firm; working for Judge Earl Latourette; and going to law school. Paulus describes meeting Bill Paulus while attending law school; his family background; and their marriage. Paulus discusses her involvement with the Republican Party; working as an appellate lawyer for the Oregon Supreme Court; working on Wally Carson's campaign for the Oregon Legislature in 1965; and getting her first political appointment, to the Marion County Boundary Commission, where she focused on land-use and city planning issues. She focuses on managing a career in law and politics while raising two young children and building a house.

She then discusses her time in the Oregon House of Representatives, from 1970 to 1976, including environmental issues such as the Bottle Bill of 1971 and recycling; education; the criminal code; taxes; attempts to make Cape Kiwanda a state park; and the Rajneeshees. Paulus goes into detail about the women's caucus and the bills they focused on for women's rights, as well as efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. She describes working with Bob Smith, Paul Hanneman, Betty Roberts, Stafford Hansell, Jack Anunsen, Wally Priestly, Dick Eymann, Lynn Newbry, Glenn Jackson, Jason Boe, and Gretchen Kafoury. She also talks about being co-chair for Clay Myers' 1974 race for Oregon governor.

Paulus goes on to speak about her time as Oregon's first woman secretary of state from 1977 to 1985, including her first campaign in 1976 against Blaine Whipple; her efforts to increase voter turnout; and conducting audits, particularly of the Forestry Department. She also discusses the secretary of state's role as state archivist and the conflict between the Oregon State Archives and the Oregon Historical Society over which records belong with which institution. She also discusses working with Governor Vic Atiyeh. Paulus discusses running for governor against Neil Goldschmidt in 1986 and the challenges her campaign faced. She discusses her position on the Northwest Power Planning Council from 1987 to 1990, including working with Ted Hallock and Bob Duncan. She also discusses her position as Oregon superintendent of public instruction from 1990 to 1999, including her efforts to fund K-12 education. Paulus also relates a story about sharing an airplane with Moshe Dayan.

Paulus, Norma

Oral history interview with Windsor Calkins

  • SR 470
  • Collection
  • 1986-07-07 - 1986-08-01

This oral history interview with Windsor Calkins was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Calkins' office in Eugene, Oregon, from July 7 to August 1, 1986. In the interview, Calkins discusses his family background and early life in Eugene, including a 1922 trip on foot from Newport to Florence, Oregon, with his father. He also discusses his father's career as a court reporter, as well as his own interest in the law. Calkins talks about studying law at the University of Oregon, including taking classes from Wayne Morse. Calkins talks about practicing law in Eugene and some of the cases he argued, including bootlegging and murder cases. He also discusses the effect the Depression had on his family. He then talks about his experiences in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Calkins also talks about notable people from Eugene, including William G. East and other judges. He then discusses his work as a lawyer for the Eugene Water and Electric Board and Sacred Heart Hospital, as well as his involvement with the Lane County Bar Association, the Eugene City Health Board, and other civic organizations. He closes the interview with a description of malpractice lawsuits, as well as his family life.

Calkins, Windsor, 1910-1989

Oral history interview with Stafford Hansell

  • SR 88
  • Collection
  • 1983-10-17 - 1986-06

This oral history interview with Stafford Hansell was conducted by Barbara Reynolds from October 17 to November 15, 1983, and in June 1986. In the interview, Hansell discusses his family history and early life on a farm in Umatilla County, Oregon, including having diphtheria and polio as a child and the long-term effects on his health. He also talks about his education at the University of Montana and Whitman College, including his involvement in athletics and drama. Hansell talks about the early years of his marriage to Mary Elizabeth Ennis; making ends meet during the Depression; farming with his father; hog farming with his brother, Bill; and adopting his son, John. He also discusses serving on his local school board from 1953 to 1957, including implementing kindergarten and increasing school funding. Hansell then discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and representing Umatilla County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1957 to 1974. He discusses legislation on land-use planning, taxation, labor, reapportionment, education, agriculture, and marijuana. He also discusses his failed bid to become Speaker of the House in the 1967 session, as well as many of the representatives he served with. Hansell also discusses his role on the Ways and Means Committee; the Boeing Space Age Park and Boardman; salary increases for legislators; and the Mark Hatfield and Tom McCall administrations. He speaks briefly on his feelings regarding the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. He also talks about working for the administrations of Governors Bob Straub and Norma Paulus after leaving the Legislature, including serving on the Oregon Liquor Commission, the State Board of Education, and the Governor's Taskforce on Land Use Planning. He also discusses the Rajneeshees. Hansell closes the interview by talking about his personal life and family, as well as his involvement with the Oregon Historical Society and his interest in Native American cultures and art.

Hansell, Stafford (Marion Stafford), 1913-1995

Oral history interview with Betty Roberts

This oral history interview of Betty Roberts was conducted by Clark Hansen from March 24, 1992, to September 19, 1994, at Roberts' home in Portland, Oregon. In the interview, Roberts describes her early life and family background, including growing up in Texas during the Depression and her father's alcohol poisoning. She also discusses meeting her first husband, John Willard "Bill" Rice, as well as their marriage and starting a family in Oregon. Roberts discusses attending Portland State College and the strain it put on her marriage to Rice; discrimination she encountered as an older woman student; and pursuing a master's degree at the University of Oregon. She also talks about her divorce from Rice due to his objection to her working outside the home, the divorce's effect on her children, and her subsequent marriage to Frank L. Roberts. She also discusses her divorce from Frank Roberts in 1965.

Roberts discusses her career as an educator, including teaching at high schools in East Portland; serving on school boards; and her activity in the Oregon Education Association. She talks about meeting her third husband, Keith Skelton; civil liberties; her involvement in the Democratic Party; and practicing law. She then talks about her experiences in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1965 to 1968, including campaigning, sexist media coverage, and teaching high school and attending law school at Northwestern College of Law while in the Legislature. Roberts discusses legislation she worked on during her time in the House, primarily on education, including sick leave for teachers and universal kindergarten.

Roberts also discusses her 1968 campaign for the Oregon Senate against Tom Mahoney, as well as the 1968 presidential campaign, including the debate around the Vietnam War and her attendance at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, with U.S. Senator Wayne Morse. She then discusses her experience in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1977, including legislation on taxes, particularly sales taxes; women's rights; abortion; environmental issues; rape shield laws; and child custody. She discusses working with Debbs Potts, John D. Burns, and Gracie Peck, and and talks about running for governor against Bob Straub in 1974. She also discusses her run for the U.S. Senate against Bob Packwood the same year. She talks about the various forms of sexism she encountered while in the Senate, the formation of the Women's Caucus in 1973, and support for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Roberts talks about her time as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 1977 to 1982, and about working alongside judges Herbert Schwabe and W. Michael Gillette. She describes being appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court by Governor Vic Atiyeh and the encouragement she received from Norma Paulus. She discusses several cases from the years 1982 to 1986, including cases regarding sex discrimination and misuse of taxpayer monies. She also talks about her law clerk, Maureen Leonard, and about working alongside judges Jacob Tanzer and Mercedes Deiz. Roberts relates her opinion on the efficacy and procedures of the judicial system in Oregon. She discusses her activities after resigning from the court, including her involvement with Oregon Women Lawyers and the Bob Packwood sexual harassment scandal.

Roberts, Betty, 1923-2011

Oral history interview with Fred D. Miller

This oral history interview with Fred D. Miller was conducted by Pat Collmeyer at the Portland General Electric offices in the World Trade Center in Portland, Oregon, from October 12, 1993, to June 7, 1994. Miller discusses his family background and early life in Southwest Portland. He also discusses his experiences at Willamette University, Portland State University, and Michigan State University, including studying abroad in Argentina. He talks about becoming a professor at Oregon State University in 1967 in order to get a deferment from the draft, and about teaching abroad in Peru and with World Campus Afloat. Miller discusses his involvement with the Oregon State Legislature as special assistant to the director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, and talks about the Mount Hood Freeway. He also talks about working with George Baldwin, Glenn Jackson, and Bob Burco. He then describes his time as director of the Oregon Department of Energy from 1976 to 1979, replacing Lon Topaz, and discusses nuclear power plants and electrical utilities. He also talks about working with Janet McLennan and Mike Katz. Miller discusses his time as assistant director, then director, of the Oregon Department of Transportation, from 1979 to 1987, including funding and gas taxes. Miller also discusses working under governors Tom McCall, Bob Straub, Vic Atiyeh, Neil Goldschmidt, and Barbara Roberts. In addition, he talks about Corrections Director Michael Francke and his murder in 1989. Miller closes the interview by discussing the various management styles of the many governors he served under.

Miller, Fred D., 1942-

Oral history interview with Irvin Luiten

This oral history interview with Irvin "Irv" Herman Luiten was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from March 16, 1988, to January 19, 1990, at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. In the interview, Luiten discusses his family background and early life on wheat farms in Ritzville and Edwall, Washington, including his early education and the struggles his family faced during the Great Depression. He then describes studying journalism at Washington State University in the late 1930s, including the evolution of his political views and his interest in radio broadcasting. He discusses his early career as a journalist for the Colville Examiner from 1940 to 1941 and for the Northwest Farm News in 1941. Luiten also talks extensively about his service during World War II, including acting as defense counsel for his battalion and about soldier morale. He talks about his work with the Military Intelligence Service to teach escape and evasion tactics to airmen and setting up lines of escape in France.

Next, he describes his post-war life, including taking the editorship of the Northwest Farm News; marrying Ellen Boyde and raising a family; taking a job at Washington State University; and beginning his career with the Weyerhaeuser Company, doing public relations work as a writer for Weyerhaeuser News. He talks about aspects of Weyerhaeuser that made him loyal to the company, including the company's forest management practices and the management style of Phil Weyerhaeuser. Luiten also describes his experiences as a lobbyist for Weyerhaeuser from 1953 to 1978. He talks about the primary issues Weyerhauser was concerned with, including taxes, particularly timber taxes; pollution; land use; environmental law; and labor laws. Luiten also discusses his involvement with the Izaak Walton League of America and his conservation work; the Clemons Tree Farm; the workplace culture at Weyerhaeuser; and the company's relationship with the public. He goes on to talk about working with lobbyists for other Oregon timber interests, the different timber harvesting philosophies between Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific, and how those philosophies affected the economy of the state. He speaks at length on the importance of public relations work. He also discusses working with legislators such as Mark Hatfield, Dick Neuberger, Clarence Barton, Dick Eymann, and Vic Atiyeh. He closes the interview by talking about his life in retirement.

Luiten, Irvin H. (Irvin Herman), 1915-1997

Oral history interview with Ken Jernstedt

This oral history interview with Ken Jernstedt was conducted by Clark Hansen from February 23 to April 13, 1995, in Hood River, Oregon. In this interview, Jernstedt describes his family background and early life on a farm in Yamhill, Oregon, including growing up during the Depression and his education at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. He also discusses his service during World War II, including his pilot training in the U.S. Marines aviation corps; joining the First American Volunteer Group and flying with the Flying Tigers for the Chinese Air Force; and his experience fighting against Japanese forces in China. He also talks about working as a test pilot after the war and meeting Charles Lindbergh. He then discusses returning to Oregon in 1946; purchasing Hood River Bottling Works; and his experiences as mayor of Hood River. Jernstedt also discusses his experiences in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1967 to 1968, including his campaign, party politics, and Monte Montgomery as speaker of the House. He then talks about his experiences in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1984, including legislation on taxation, particularly a sales tax; revisions to the criminal code; his objections to the 1971 Bottle Bill; liquor laws; and campaign finance. Other topics include prison labor, field burning, the expansion of the Capitol building, wage increases, elections, and the state's investments in apartheid South Africa. Jernstedt also speaks at length about Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh and his coming to the central Oregon town of Antelope in Jernstedt's legislative district. He also discusses working in the Senate with Ted Hallock, John D. Burns, Vic Atiyeh, Jason Boe, and John Kitzhaber. He also briefly talks about U.S. Senate Majority Leader Newt Gingrich.

Jernstedt, Ken (Kenneth Allen), 1917-2003

Oral history interview with Maurine Neuberger

Neuberger describes her experience as a teacher in Oregon, how she met her husband, Senator Dick Neuberger, her experiences as a legislator and women in the Oregon House of Representatives and later in the United States Senate. She talks about her relationships with and impressions of many prominent politicians of the 1960s, including Wayne Morse and John F. Kennedy.

Neuberger, Maurine B. (Maurine Brown), 1907-2000

Oral history interview with Vern Cook

This oral history interview with Robert Vernon "Vern" Cook was conducted by Clark Hansen at Cook's law office in Gresham, Oregon, and Cook's home in Troutdale, Oregon, from December 15, 1994, to October 15, 1995. In the interview, Cook discusses his family background and early life during the Depression in Las Animas, Colorado, and in Gresham. He also describes being a young man during World War II; being denied enlistment in the Navy due to polio; and his rehabilitation from polio. Cook discusses studying political science at Reed College and law at the University of Oregon, all while working concessions at various businesses in California with his brother. He talks about practicing law in Gresham; his involvement with the Democratic Party; and his first campaign for the Oregon House of Representatives in 1956. Cook discusses the legislation he worked on while serving in the House, including taxation, education, and worker's compensation. He also talks about serving on the judicial committee and related issues. He discusses some of the legislators he worked with, including Pat Dooley and Monroe Sweetland, as well as Governor Mark Hatfield.

Cook then describes his experience in the Oregon Senate, including serving on the judiciary committee and legislation on taxation, particularly sales taxes, as well as health insurance, education, land use, agriculture, domestic violence, and labor. He also talks about working with senators Tom Mahoney, Edith Green, Walter Pearson, Debbs Potts, Monte Montgomery, Alice Corbett, Ted Hallock, Jason Boe, and Vic Atiyeh. Cook also discusses party politics and its influence on the effectiveness of the Legislature during his tenure; the 1968 Democratic National Convention; and working with Governor Tom McCall and Portland Mayor Neil Goldschmidt. He also talks about his unsuccessful campaigns for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate; his involvement in Frank Church's campaign in the Democratic presidential primary in 1976; and the financial difficulties he faced as a legislator. He closes the interview by discussing his career as a lawyer since leaving the Legislature in 1980.

Cook, Vern (Robert Vernon), 1925-2008

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